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X. The canon of scripture seems at, or after the close of David's reign to be added to by the prophets Nathan and Gad. It appears probable by the scriptures, that they carried on the history of the two books of Samuel from the place where Samuel left it, and finished it. These two books of Samuel seem to be the book that in the scripture is called the book of Samuel the seer, and Nathan the prophet, and Gad the seer, as in 1 Chron. xxix. 29. “ Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer.”
XI. The next thing I would take notice of, is God's won. derfully continuing the kingdom of his visible people in the line of Christ's legal ancestors, as long as they remained an independent kingdom. Thus it was without any interruption worth notice. Indeed the kingdom of all the tribes of Israel was not kept in that line ; but the dominion of that part of Israel, in which the true worship of God was upheld, and so of that part that were God's visible people, was always kept in the family of David, as long as there was any such thing as an independent king of Israel ; according to his promise to David : And not only in the family of David, but always in that part of David's posterity that was the line whence Christ was legally descended ; so that the very per. son that was Christ's legal ancestor was always in the throne, excepting Jehoahaz, who reigned three months, and Zedekiah ; as you may see in Matthew's genealogy of Christ.
Christ was legally descended from the kings of Judah, though he was not naturally descended from them. both legally and naturally descended from David. naturally descended from Nathan the son of David ; for Mary his mother was one of the posterity of David by Nathan, as you may see in Luke's genealogy : But Joseph, the reputed and legal father of Christ, was naturally descended of Solomon and his successors, as we have an account in Matthew's genealogy. Jesus Christ, though he was not the natural son of Joseph, yet, by the law and constitution of the Jews, he Vol. II.
He was He was
was Joseph's heir; because he was the lawful son of Joseph's lawful wife, conceived while she was his legally espoused wife. The Holy Ghost raised up seed to him. A person by the law of Moses, might be the legal son and heir of another, whose natural son he was not ; as sometimes a man raised up seed to his brother ; a brother in some cases, was to build up a brother's house ; so the Holy Ghost built up Joseph's house.
And Joseph being in the direct line of the kings of Judah, of the house of David, he was the legal heir of the crown of David : And Christ, being legally his firstborn son, he was his heir ; and so Christ, by the law, was the proper heir of the crown of David, and is therefore said to sit upon the throne of his father David.
The crown of God's people was wonderfully kept in the line of Christ's legal ancestors. When David was old, and not able any longer to manage the affairs of the kingdom, Adonijah, one of his sons, set up to be king and seemed to have obtained his purpose ; all things for a while seemed fair on his side, and he thought himself strong ; the thing he aimed at seemed to be accomplished. But so it was, Adonijah was not the son of David that was the ancestor of Joseph, the legal father of Christ ; and therefore, how wonderfully did Providence work here! What a strange and sudden revolution ! All Adonijah's kingdom and glory vanished away as soon as it was begun ; and Solomon, the legal ancestor of Christ, was established in the throne.
And after Solomon's death, when Jeroboam had conspired against the family, and Rehoboam carried himself so that it was a wonder all Israel was not provoked to forsake him, and ten tribes did actually forsake him, and set up Jeroboam in opposition to him ; and though he was a wicked many and deserved to have been rejected altogether from being king; yet he being the legal ancestor of Christ, God kept the kingdom of the two tribes, in which the true religion was upheld, in his possession : And though he had been wicked, and his son Abijam was another wicked prince ; yet they being legal ancestors of Christ, God still continued the crown in the
family, and gave it to Abijam's son Asa. And afterwards, though many of the kings of Judah were very wicked men, and horridly provoked God, as particularly Jehoram, Ahaziah, Ahaž, Manasseh, and Amon ; yet God did not take away the crown from their family, but gave it to their sons, because they were the ancestors of Christ. God's remembering his covenant that he had established with David, is given as the reason why God did thus, notwithstanding their wicked lives; as 1 Kings xv. 4. speaking there of Abijam's wickedness, it is said, “ Nevertheless, for Davids sake did the Lord his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem :” So 2 Chron. xxi. 7, speaking there of Jehoram's great wickedness, it is said, “ Howbeit the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light unto him, and to his sons forever.”
The crown of the ten tribes was changed from one family to another continually. First, Jeroboam took it ; but the crown remained in his family but for one generation after his death ; it only descended to his son Nadab : And then Baasha, that was of another family, took it ; and it remained in his posterity but one generation after his death : And then Zimri, that was his servant, and not of his posterity, took it ; and then, without descending at all to his posterity, Omri, that was of another family, took it ; and the crown continued in his family for three successions ; and then Jehu, that was of another family took it ; and the crown continued in his family for three or four successions : And then Shallum, that was of another family, took it : And the crown did not descend at all to his posterity ; but Menahem, that was of another family, took it ; and it remained in his family but one generation after him : And then Pekah, that was of another family took it ; and after him Hoshea, that was still of another family, took it : So great a difference was there between the crown of Israel and the crown of Judah ; the one was continued evermore in the same family, and with very little interruption, in one right line ; the other was continually tossed about from one family to another, as if it were the sport of fortune. The
reason was not, because the kings of Judah, many of them, were better than the kings of Israel ; but the one had the blessing in them; they were the ancestors of Christ, whose right it was to sit on the throne of Israel. But with the kings of Israel it was not so ; and therefore divine Providence esercised a continual care, through all the changes that happened through so many generations, and such a long space of time, to keep the crown of Judah in one direct line, in fulfilment of the everlasting covenant he had made with David, the mercies of which covenant were sure mercies; but in the other case there was no such covenant, and so no such care of Providence.
And here it must not be omitted, that there was once a very strong conspiracy of the kings of Syria and Israel, in the time of that wicked king of Judah, Alaz, to dispossess Ahaz and his family of the throne of Judah, and to set one of another family, even the son of Tabeal, on it; as you may see in Isa. vii. 6. « Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal.” And they seemed very likely to accomplish their purpose. There seemed to be so great a likelihood of it, that the hearts of the people sunk within them ; they gave up the cause. It is said; “ The heart of Ahaz and his people was moved, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.” And on this occasion God sent the prophet Isaiah to encourage the people, and tell them that it should not come to pass. And because it looked so much like a gone cause, that Ahaz and the people would very difficultly believe that it would not be, therefore God directs the prophet to give them this sign of it, viz. that Christ should be born of the legal seed of Ahaz; as Isa. vii. 14. “ Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign : Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” This was a good sign, and a great confirmation of the truth of what God promised by Isaiah, viz. that the kings of Syria and Israel should never accomplish their purpose of dispossessing the family of Ahaz of the crown of Judah, and setting up the son bf Tabeal; for Christ the Immanuel was to be of them:
I have mentioned this dispensation of Providence in this place, because, though it was continued for so long a time, yet it began in Solomon's succession to the throne of his father David.
XII. The next thing I would take notice of, is the building of the temple : A great type of three things, viz. of Christ, especially the human nature of Christ ; of the church of Christ; and of heaven. The tabernacle seemed rather to represent the church in its moveable, changeable state, here in this world. But that beautiful, glorious, costly structure of the temple, that succeeded the tabernacle, and was a fixed, and not a moveable thing, seems especially to represent the church in its glorified state in heaven. This temple was built according to the pattern shown by the Holy Ghost to David, and by divine direction given to David, in the place where was the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, in Mount Moriah, 2 Chron. iii. 1 ; in the same mountain, and doubtless in the very same place, where Abraham offered up his son Isaac ; for that is said to be a mountain in the land of Moriah, Gen. xxii. 2, which mountain was called the mountain of the Lord, as this mountain of the temple was, Gen. xxii. 14. * And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh ; as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.”
This was the house where Christ dwelt, till he came to dwell in the temple of his body, or human nature, which was the antitype of this temple ; as appears, because Christ, on occasion of showing him the temple of Jerusalem, says, “ Destroy this temple, and in three days will I raise it up,” speak. ing of the temple of his body, John ii. 19, 20. This house, or an house built in this place, continued to be the house of God, the place of the worship of his church, till Christ came. Here was the place that God chose, where all their sacrifices were offered up, till the great sacrifice came, and made the sacrifice and oblation to cease. Into his temple in this place the Lord came, even the messenger of the covenant. Here he often delivered his heavenly doctrine, and wrought miracles ; here his church was gathered by the pouring out of the Spir